Winning votes, the Labour way

Ever since Gordon Brown decided it was "my turn, my turn, myyyyyyyyy turn" to be Prime Minister, the Labour party have been slipping in the polls. In spite of Gordon's charm and charisma, and in spite of the fact that he single-handedly saved the world from that nasty recession (remember it? Glad that's over), the fickle public are probably going to vote for 'anyone but Labour' in droves.

A huge number of vote-winning initiatives - mostly to do with smearing the opposition - have been tried, but most have ended in failure, and often in ignominy, sackings and complete humiliation for all concerned.

But acording to this story, in the London Evening Standard, Labour may have finally cracked it. That's right, a sure fire technique for increasing the Labour votes come election day.

In a leaked email, Anisur Rahman, the Labour branch secretary of Bethnal Green South ward, describes the technique, to be used when postal voting is underway.

Pay attention, as Claudia Schiffer says; here comes the science part:

"..people from my ward BGS and some from different ward called me to ask about postal voting system after getting ballot.

"I helped and I also visited few house [sic] to do it. I know it is a secret matter but if someone request [sic], as a comrade
we need to help for the benefit of the party.

"So I am requesting all ward coordinators, cllr's, branch secretaries to do such work in their own ward now."

Setting aside the fact that this particular Labour activist seems to have the language skills of a six year old, lets delve into that bit more, shall we?

What Mr Rahman is saying here is that he 'helped' local people to complete their postal votes and that this was for "the benefit of the party" (as opposed to, say, the benefit of democracy). Not only that, but this is such a fucking excellent idea that he thinks everybody should do it.

What Mr Rahman appears to be blissfully igorant of (other than spelling and grammar) is that this is - funnily enough - against the fucking law.

That's right, Anisur: any activist, candidate or party official caught interfering with postal votes can receive up to a two-year prison term and/or an unlimited fine, and can be barred from standing in elected office for up to five years.

One of the people addressed in the email was Rushanara Ali, who will become Britain's first Bangladeshi MP if she is elected in Bethnal Green and Bow. And she couldn't distance herself quick enough:

"[Mr Rahman] is a Labour activist. He is not a member of my staff. There are about 1,800 members now in the Labour party in Tower Hamlets"

Nothing to do with you then, Rusha'?

"I will take action if I see any irregularities or inappropriate behaviour by members or activists, because it's very important that people follow the procedures.

Oh, so, nothing to do with you, but you will 'take action' if he does it again. Or at least, if he's dumb enough to get caught again.

A unnamed Labour party spokesman - probably not Gordon Brown, he doesn't say much - said:

"We take the procedures related to postal voting very seriously."

Well of course you do: your new procedures are the best way to get a whole shitload of votes, without any of the tiresome canvassing. Brilliant!



mungle said...

All part of the process of being turned into a banana republic without the benefit of banana republic weather. As far as the e-mail can be deciphered he talks as if its an obvious and natural thing to do.

glenrothes said...

Labour in Scotland are well ahead of the game in postal voting fraud.
Against all the odds, last years Glenrothes by election was won by Labour by a margin of 6,000 votes. This was double the number of postal votes expected.
Unfortunately when the SNP asked to see the voting papers ( allowed by law ) in order to verify that the voters were real the records were all missing. So no one knows who voted or if they were real voters.
Oh Labour won the election by 6,000 votes.

Pavlov's Cat said...

The Rahman clan* all originally ancestrally from a particular region in Bangladesh feature regularly in Private Eye and elsewhere with stories of their shenanigans cronyism and nepotism in Tower Hamlets

*clan, because that's what they are, it's just that Labour suits them at the moment and is where the money is, they actually have no loyalty outside of the clan.

JuliaM said...

"All part of the process of being turned into a banana republic without the benefit of banana republic weather."

If the voters won't vote for you, import some that will...

Anonymous said...

wasn't this idea already suggested by Brownadder?